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Strange Problem With White Hard Maple

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Forum topic by rolltopbox posted 1468 days ago 1256 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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rolltopbox

70 posts in 1500 days


1468 days ago

Has any of you experienced this problem?

I bought 5/4 White Hard Maple (at a premium price) from a lumber store. I have included a picture of some of that lumber showing how the faces are nice and white but the center of the board is a distinctly tan color.

I make roll top slats from this wood by ripping (bandsaw) the 5/4 board into strips 7/8” wide. I then tip the strips and plane them to ¾” thickness. This forms the blank I then use to make roll top slats, 5/4 by ¾”. I then shape the ¾” edge to my profile (shaper) followed by slicing (bandsaw) off a slat approximately 3/8” thick. This first slat will be white and the next two that follow are tan, thus my complaint. This method allows me to have a slat with face grain, not quarter sawn grain.

From this wood I get white, tan tan, from each blank. This makes my roll top look unmatched for color.

discolored maple

Here is a picture of the finished tambour.

finished tambour

-- Bruce http://www.ovaltambour.com


18 replies so far

View CharlesNeil's profile

CharlesNeil

1098 posts in 2377 days


#1 posted 1468 days ago

what you have is the leading edge of the heart of the tree, on maple it can go from the tan you see to a darker brown and sometimes green, a good way to be sure you are getting the white material is to carry a small hand plane to the mill and lightly plane areas to be sure its white, the only way I know to lighten the heart wood is to bleach it using the 2 part wood bleach here is a good article to understand bleach and its hazards http://antiquerestorers.com/Articles/SAL/Bleach.htm

you have to check, even the best of grades allow for some off color and defects on one face , thus the FAS grade meaning First and seconds .. its the seconds thing that the issue

View miserybob's profile

miserybob

88 posts in 1551 days


#2 posted 1468 days ago

Just a SWAG here, but what are you using to slice off the final pieces? Is there something on the blade? Is it overheating/misaligned, causing a slight burn?

[edit: or what Charles said. ;-) ]

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rolltopbox

70 posts in 1500 days


#3 posted 1468 days ago

Bandsaw. Why would the “burn” be only in the center of the thickness of the board? The edges remain white.

Why only in this batch of lumber and not the previous batch of 5/4 bought two months earlier?

-- Bruce http://www.ovaltambour.com

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rolltopbox

70 posts in 1500 days


#4 posted 1468 days ago

That link is dead. I prefer rough but this was surfaced. I pick up my lumber.

Buying the rolltops ready made would dis-qualify me from exhibiting in the fine craft arena. I would also loose all creativity in the selection of figure for special patterns I want to achieve. I would not have choices in profiles and sizes.

-- Bruce http://www.ovaltambour.com

View ToddTurner's profile

ToddTurner

144 posts in 1830 days


#5 posted 1468 days ago

I went through the same thing. I build lots of maple cabinets and notice, which i like, a pinkish, almost skintone color. I understand its just the tree it came from. Some may have come from the outter portions of tree while other pieces come from the inner areas. I understand your frustration and my projects are different, but the color alterations actually look ok. I also didnt like the little black specs that tend to show in soft maple, but in a finished project, its nice.
Its just the tree.

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rolltopbox

70 posts in 1500 days


#6 posted 1468 days ago

Yeah, I’v seen what I call a reddish cast on maple at the lumber store. I asked around and was told it was caused by pushing the drying process with too much heat.

In my case, to have both faces and edges of the board nice and white and the center a tan color is not just the tree. IMHO.

-- Bruce http://www.ovaltambour.com

View GFYS's profile

GFYS

711 posts in 1977 days


#7 posted 1468 days ago

I wonder…is there any chance this will change with time?

View miserybob's profile

miserybob

88 posts in 1551 days


#8 posted 1468 days ago

Again, just spitballing… maybe moisture content? If these new boards aren’t properly dry, the center could be wetter than the edges. If you run a handplane lightly over the board, does the tan disappear, or does it go all the way through the board?

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rolltopbox

70 posts in 1500 days


#9 posted 1468 days ago

The tan is in the center of the board. Edges and faces are nice and white.

I like the idea of changing with time. But the future owner won’t be concerned with how it looks in ten years and will base the purchase decision on how it looks now. I will stick to my story that it is my design decision to use the wood as it fell from the board.

I can’t wait until I get over this fetish for pure white hard maple finished with clear waterborn urethane. I have had it ever since several people commented on a previous desk’s color; “I have never seen maple that didn’t have that yellow color cast”.

-- Bruce http://www.ovaltambour.com

View GFYS's profile

GFYS

711 posts in 1977 days


#10 posted 1468 days ago

Seems I have noticed this before..I was curious also as to the possibility of it being a moisture/resin content factor and if it would disipate with more drying or exposure to light.

View GFYS's profile

GFYS

711 posts in 1977 days


#11 posted 1468 days ago

If you have time..take a piece of the discolored material and expose it to sun light or ultra violet light and see if that has an effect on the color.

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rolltopbox

70 posts in 1500 days


#12 posted 1468 days ago

I placed one of the “tan” slats out in the sun. How long do you want it there?

-- Bruce http://www.ovaltambour.com

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rolltopbox

70 posts in 1500 days


#13 posted 1468 days ago

The slat was in the sun for about four hours. I had masked a one inch area. If you look closely at the center of the slat you will see what happened.

sun

-- Bruce http://www.ovaltambour.com

View alaskan79's profile

alaskan79

74 posts in 1860 days


#14 posted 1467 days ago

Hi

I just milled 3 Hard Maple logs yesterday. The first board off of the log is solid white then you start to get into the heartwood. This tree the heartwood is dark and as it drys it will most likely turn to a grey color. All trees will be a little different. The only way to get solid white is to buy boards that have been sorted for them being white but you also will pay more for them.

Henry

-- alaskan79, Michigan

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rolltopbox

70 posts in 1500 days


#15 posted 1467 days ago

Henry that is what I did. Paid extra for boards sorted to be white through and through. But I didn’t get that, did I?

Maple heart wood is light brown and its sap is white. Some of the prettiest boards I have seen have a mix of the two on one face. But, for now, I am fixated on the white stuff.

BTW, all wood turns gray when left exposed to the elements.

P.S. What will you be asking for the solid white lumber?

Bruce

-- Bruce http://www.ovaltambour.com

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